Singapore's High Court Accuses WSJ Of Defaming Legal Process

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Singapore's High Court Accuses WSJ Of Defaming Legal Process

Sun Nov 30, 2008 @ 09:32PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

The Wall Street Journal has been sanctioned by Singapore’s high court for "scandalizing the court" and the country's legal process by publishing two editorials and a letter to the editor that questioned the judiciary’s independence from the ruling government.

Two of the WSJ's editors were held in contempt. The paper's Asian edition was also fined $16,500.

In his ruling, Justice Tay Yong Kwang wrote that what the WSJ published, “contained insinuations of bias, lack of impartiality and lack of independence and implied that the judiciary is subservient to (Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong) and/or the (People’s Action Party) and is a tool for silencing political dissent.”

The Human Rights Watch has a different view, calling on the country to stop using legal tactics to stifle criticism. Dow Jones, publisher of WSJ, says it “strongly disagrees with the court’s analysis."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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